The fire on the Russian aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” at the Russian port of Murmansk may have been caused by a pile of rubbish, reports Kommersant, citing a source familiar with the situation.
Experts believe that the fire was caused by welding slag coming into contact with an oiled rag discarded in the hold. From there, the fire spread to power cables. According to current regulations, the crew is supposed to clean up garbage before authorizing work with a fire hazard, but apparently in this case they failed to do so.
One sailor was killed, another one could not be found, and ten have been hospitalized.
However, the fire did not cause critical damage to the carrier – there was more smoke than fire, and it primarily affected communications, which needed to be replaced in any case.
According to Kommersant’s sources, the hot welding slag fell through a cable conduit that passes through all of the carrier’s decks. It should have landed on a clean floor, but instead it landed on a pile of rubbish. Since the rubbish consisted primarily of rags and sawdust which had been used to clean up grease and solvents spilled during maintenance work, it caught fire, and the hold was immediately filled with stifling smoke.
The fire on the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov took place on December 12.
In October last year in Murmansk, the floating dock that was being used for repairs on the Admiral Kuznetsov sank. The aircraft carrier was reportedly damaged by falling tower cranes. Four shipyard employees were injured in the incident.
In 2016, the Admiral Kuznetsov took part in a military operation in Syria, during which Russian fighter aircraft took off from it more than 400 times. Two of the fighters crashed. ASu-33 rolled off the deck and fell into the sea while landing. In the second incident, a MiG-29 crashed while approaching to land.